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Potatoes are often demonized in diabetes. Their carbohydrate content involving restrictions. Should diabetics deprive themselves of it? Answers with Corinne Fernandez, dietitian nutritionist in Paris.

In 2021, France has 3.6 million diabetics. And according to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects nearly 537 million adults worldwide. Worrying figures to say the least.

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Remember that there are two types of diabetes. Type 1 which is an autoimmune disease. Type 2 is the result of overweight and the result of a diet that is too rich, especially in sugar. When you eat too much of it, your blood glucose (blood sugar) level rises. The pancreas thus releases insulin, a hormone that captures the sugar it needs to make the body function properly. The rest is turned into fat. Which results in extra pounds. For a diabetic, the production of insulin works poorly and the sugar remains at a high level in the blood. Feeding must therefore be strictly controlled.

Among the foods that give rise to restrictions in the case of this disease, is the potato. If the consumption of this starch has been declining for 50 years, we consume between 20 and 25 kilos per year according to professionals in the sector. This tuber is rich in carbohydrates. And it is for this reason that it does not mix well with diabetes. For 100g of potatoes, there are between 15 to 40 g depending on the method of preparation.

So should we remove them when we are diabetic? “Potatoes contain a lot of starch, which does not break down well in the body. This causes a lot of insulin to be secreted” indicates Corinne Fernandez, dietitian nutritionist in Paris. Which means that a priori, it should be avoided. ” Not necessarily ! Select specific categories that contain as much fiber as possible. Namely the varieties with firm flesh like the Charlotte, the Amandine or the Noirmoutier” continues the specialist.

In what form to consume the potato in case of diabetes?

Another thing to consider is how to prepare them. Needless to say that fries, mashed potatoes or crisps are to be avoided in the case of diabetes.

On the other hand, cooking with water or steam remains entirely possible. “The ideal is to include them in a salad. And, if after cooking, they are left to cool and then put in the refrigerator. The prolonged cold will cancel the harmful effects of the starch, which will limit the secretion of insulin. This is a scientific finding resulting from a meta-analysis of 19 studies” specifies Corinne Fernandez. Enough to give various ideas of mixed salads for all those who suffer from diabetes.

Thanks to Corinne Fernandez, dietitian nutritionist in Paris

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